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11 Best Down Alternative Pillows of 2021

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Tired of sleeping on the limp, lifeless pillow you’ve had for years? There’s no time like the present to invest in a cushy upgrade. And if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional down pillows, we’ve got you covered. Whether you suffer from allergies, are vegan, or just don’t prefer feather filling, one of our picks for the best down alternative pillows on the market are sure to fit the bill. Keep reading to find out more, and scroll down to shop our picks — the best sleep of your life could be just a click away!

What is the best down alternative pillow?

What is a down alternative pillow filled with?

Before we dive into the best down alternative pillows, let’s talk about what down alternative means, and why you might want to opt for this filling over down insulation. In general, the term “down alternative” refers to a material designed to mimic down, which is prized for its super-soft feel and superior loft. Down alternative fillings are often made of microfiber, a synthetic material composed of super fine fibers, and the ones found in the best down alternative pillows are just as soft and supportive as their traditional down counterparts.

Why would someone choose one of the best down alternative pillows over one made with actual down? For starters, some people have allergic reactions when they come into contact with down, while many down alternative fillings are hypoallergenic, meaning they’re less likely to trigger allergy symptoms, and can be easier on people with sensitive skin.

Another reason someone might choose down alternative fillings over down is that down is sourced from waterfowl (it’s the insulation that keeps ducks, geese, and swans warm). There are controversial down sourcing methods that some people might want to avoid contributing to, and vegans in particular will want to opt for cruelty-free down alternative pillows.

Are down alternative pillows healthy?

While there’s no guarantee that any pillow will completely prevent allergy symptoms from occurring, down alternative pillows have several features that make flare-ups less likely. “One of the most impactful benefits of using down alternative pillows is the ability to wash them in the household washing machine,” says Dr. Karen Kaufman, a Virginia-based allergist immunologist. “Regular laundering can reduce house dust mites and endotoxin, which can accumulate inside.”

Despite the fact that having an actual allergy to down is uncommon, down alternatives can still help prevent allergy symptoms from popping up, thanks to their construction. According to Dr. Kaufman, “Symptoms of allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the inside of the nose), including nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, and postnasal drip, are more commonly triggered by the presence of house dust mites found within pillows and bed linens of all types. Down alternative pillow covers are manufactured with a tighter weave compared to the covers that overlay standard polyester-filled pillows, and this reduces permeability to house dust mite allergens.”

What are the healthiest pillows to sleep on?

Not only does the right pillow provide comfort as we drift off, pillows can also have a big impact on our body’s alignment. That’s why it’s important to find one that will keep you feeling supported throughout the night. Your personal sleep style is one of the most important considerations when purchasing the best down alternative pillows. And what is sleep style, you ask? Essentially, there are three categories of sleepers: Back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers. Depending on which type you are, you’ll want to look for different qualities in a pillow.

Stomach sleepers will want to look for a softer, thinner pillow to help keep the neck in alignment, while back sleepers generally prefer a medium-firm pillow that’s not too high. Side sleepers, on the other hand, will want to look for a firmer pillow that’s a bit higher to support their head, neck, and spine.

You’ll also want to consider what type of material the pillow is made with. If you’re concerned about chemicals, you’ll want to check to see if the pillow is made with non-toxic fabrics and fillings. The Avocado Green Pillow is non-toxic and made with organic latex, kapok, and cotton, and Boll & Branch and VIEWSTAR make down alternative pillows that are OEKO-TEX-certified. That means they’ve been tested to ensure they don’t contain harmful chemicals.

Whether you prefer soft or firm, thick or thin, our list of the best down alternative pillows is sure to have what you’re looking for. And for even more bedding inspiration, be sure to check out our picks for the best down alternative comforters, the best mattresses for adjustable beds, and the best mattresses for back and hip pain. You’ll be catching better Zzzs in no time. Keep scrolling to read about our picks for the best down alternative pillows of 2021.

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The Best Down Alternative Pillows of 2021

TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow

Best down alternative pillow for hot sleepers
best down alternative pillows
Tempur-Pedic

Buy from Tempur-Pedic, starting at $189

Why we like it:

  • Made with 2 layers of cooling gel
  • Filled with supportive TEMPUR material
  • 5-year warranty

Tempur-Pedic is one of the most trusted names in bedding, thanks to its trademarked TEMPUR material, which was developed using NASA technology. Unlike a down pillow, which needs to be continually re-fluffed, the TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow is designed to maintain its shape over time. Women going through menopause, in particular, will appreciate the layers of cooling gel on each side of the TEMPUR material, which helps keep your head from getting sweaty while you slumber. Concerned about the cost? A five-year warranty ensures you’ll feel confident about your investment. Note that side sleepers will want to opt for the ProHi model, while back and stomach sleepers will prefer the ProLo (both the same price, and sold through the same link).

One buyer wrote, “I wish I would have made the investment in my sleep equipment earlier in my life, as this pillow pays dividends in a good night’s sleep.” They called it a “supportive, cooling, downright comfortable pillow,” and said the one negative is that “My cat feels the same as I do about the pillow and we are at odds with one another about sharing it.”

Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow

Best Brooklinen down alternative pillow
best down alternative pillows
Brooklinen

Buy from Brooklinen, starting at $53 (originally $59)

Why we like it:

  • Vegan and allergy-friendly
  • 100 percent cotton shell
  • Available in 3 firmness options

Since its launch in 2014, Brooklinen has become one of the most sought-after bedding brands. Known for its hotel-quality sheet sets (without the steep price tag), this down alternative pillow is a best-seller as well. It comes in three levels of softness, so you can choose from plush, mid-plush, and firm, depending on your sleep style. Filled with custom microfiber that’s designed to mimic the fluffy feel of down and encased in a breathable, 100 percent cotton shell, it’s vegan and allergy-friendly. For peace of mind, Brooklinen offers 365 days for returns and exchanges, in addition to a one-year warranty.

One Brooklinen customer, who “had neck surgery many years ago” and has “been on the lookout for a comfortable pillow since then,” wrote that the “Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow is not too soft and not too lofty,” adding, “I have been sleeping with it now for about two months and am very satisfied.”

Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow

Best Boll & Branch down alternative pillow
best down alternative pillows
Boll & Branch

Buy from Boll & Branch, starting at $68

Why we like it:

  • 100 percent organic cotton cover
  • Allergy-friendly fill
  • OEKO-TEX-certified material

If you’re looking for a pillow that has the loftiness of down without the risk of sniffly side effects, this allergy-friendly pillow from Branch & Boll is a great option. Not only does it come in three textures (soft, medium, and firm), it features a 100 percent organic cotton cover, and piping detail around the edges for a high-end resort-worthy look. The trademarked PrimaLoft filling is a cushy alternative to down, and those worried about breathing in harmful chemicals can rest assured that this pillow is OEKO-TEX-certified.

One reviewer called this pillow “better than down,” saying it “feels like I’m at a luxury hotel every night.” They added, “I used to wake up with a sore shoulder most mornings, and thought it was my mattress, but it turns out it was the pillows!

Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows

Bestselling down alternative pillow on Amazon
best down alternative pillows
Amazon

Buy from Amazon, starting at $39.99 for set of two

Why we like it:

  • Filled with OEKO-TEX-certified down alternative material
  • No-shift construction
  • Over 101,000 5-star ratings on Amazon

With over 101,000 five-star ratings, it’s no wonder shoppers are in love with this luxurious pillow set, which is a number one bestseller on Amazon. These pillows are filled with soft, OEKO-TEX-certified down alternative cushioning, which provides a plush surface for your head while also keeping you cool at night, and the no-shift construction means your pillow won’t slip and slide while you sleep. Made to suit side, back, and stomach sleepers, this set is made with chemical and allergen-free materials, as well as stain- and fade-resistant fabric. Plus, they’re a breeze to clean — just pop them into the washing machine!

One happy Amazon customer wrote, “I absolutely love these pillows,” saying, “They actually feel like you are laying on a cloud.” In the past, they’d “spent hundreds on brand name memory foam pillows that failed to relieve my neck pain,” but said, “These pillows made that pain go away immediately.” They said they were “so impressed with the feel of them, that I bought two more just to have for trips.” In addition, they called these pillows “incredibly comfortable” and “durable,” and said, ” They still maintain the great fluffy feeling, even after a year of use.”

VIEWSTAR Down Alternative Pillows

Best down alternative pillow set on Amazon
best down alternative pillows
Amazon

Buy from Amazon, starting at $38.99 for set of two

Why we like it:

  • Starts at under $40 for 2 pillows
  • OEKO-TEX-certified material
  • Over 18,000 5-star ratings on Amazon

The reviews speak for themselves when it comes to this down alternative pillow set, which has racked up over 18,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. Not only do you get two pillows starting at under $40, you also get the reassurance that they’re made with OEKO-TEX-certified materials (i.e. no harmful chemicals). These pillows are designed to suit all sleep styles, thanks to their balance of soft plushness and firm support, and the silver band border adds a luxe touch. Even better, this pillow set is washer- and dryer-friendly for easy cleaning.

One of this pillow’s many fans, who refers to herself as a “pillow snob,” wrote, “I absolutely LOVVVVEEEE these pillows! … I like my pillows to be fluffy and soft but also firm and supportive … These pillows have been the best I have bought over the years by far.” She went on to say, “They’re so soft and fluffy but still solid and firm!” In terms of keeping their loft intact, she suggests “folding the pillows four different ways (directions included) to re-fluff them back up.” According to her, “The life just puffs right back into them with little to no effort!

GhostPillow – Faux Down

Softest down alternative pillow
best down alternative pillows
GhostBed

Buy from GhostBed, $64 (originally $85)

Why we like it:

  • Plush, ‘huggable’ feel
  • Suits all sleep styles
  • 5-year warranty

If soft and fluffy pillows are your thing, you’ll love the Faux Down pillow by GhostBed. Its self-described ‘huggable’ feel will keep you comfy and supported throughout the night, whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, and its cool-to-the-touch fabric provides relief for hot sleepers. In addition, this pillow is allergen- and dust mite-free to keep sneezes and watery eyes at bay, and the ‘silky-soft’ cover is easy on skin. Not only that, the microfiber gel filling contours to your head, neck, and shoulders to keep things aligned, and a five-year warranty is the cherry on top.

One reviewer, who used to wake up with neck pain, wrote, “This pillow is so soft, yet pliable so I can tuck/fold [it] if I want [to] for extra support.” They said they’ve experienced “zero mornings with neck pain” since using it, and compared its softness to “sleeping on cheesecake!

Parachute Down Alternative Side Sleeper Pillow

Best down alternative pillow for side sleepers
best down alternative pillows
Parachute

Buy from Parachute, starting at $89

Why we like it:

  • Specifically designed for side sleepers
  • Medium density
  • 3-year warranty

If you’re a side sleeper — which the majority of people are — you’ll be pleased to find that there’s a pillow made specifically with you in mind. The Parachute Down Alternative Side Sleeper Pillow has a medium density to offer just the right balance between support and comfort. A three and a half-inch gusset provides ample height to lessen the pressure on your neck and shoulders. and the down alternative fill is 100 percent hypoallergenic (sniffles, be gone!). If you’re a hot sleeper or suffer from night sweats, you’ll be grateful for the 100 percent sateen cotton shell, which helps keep things cool. Back or stomach sleeper? Parachute also makes a classic down alternative pillow to suit other sleep styles, and all their pillows come with a generous three-year warranty.

One satisfied side sleeper wrote, “I’ll admit, I never really thought of pillows as being specific to different types of sleepers. But recently I’ve had a few sleepless nights, and when I researched it, I learned that some people swear by specific pillows for good sleep.” They went on to say, “I looked into a few options and went with the Parachute one based on reviews and on my past experiences with Parachute (adore my linen duvet and pillow shams).” The verdict? “I LOVE this pillow!” they said. “It’s just firm enough for support, but not so firm that it’s uncomfortable. Truly perfect.”

Avocado Green Pillow

Best organic down alternative pillow
best down alternative pillows
Avocado Mattress

Buy from Avocado Mattress, starting at $80 (originally $89)

Why we like it:

  • Vegan and non-toxic
  • Made with organic latex and organic kapok
  • Breathable organic cotton cover

You won’t have to think twice about potentially harmful materials with this organic pillow by Avocado. Not only is it non-toxic, it’s also vegan-friendly, and features a filling made of organic latex and kapok (a soft, sustainable tree fiber). An organic jersey cotton liner keeps the fill in place, while the entire pillow is encased in a GOTS organic-certified quilted cotton cover. This medium-plush pillow is designed to be compatible with all sleep styles, and has a cool feel to relieve hot sleepers from dreaded night sweats. Best of all, this pillow is completely customizable — simply unzip the pillow to remove some filling if it’s feeling too lofty, or give it a refresh by adding more with the included refill package.

One happy customer described this pillow as, “Fluffy, plush, cuddly, with the option to add or remove stuffing to customize.” He wrote, “It was so awesome, my wife stole mine and I have to order another one now. Life is rough,” and said he appreciates that he’s “not pumping our bed and room full of unwanted chemicals.”

Casper Original Bed Pillow

Best down alternative pillow from Walmart
best down alternative pillows
Walmart

Buy from Walmart, $65

Why we like it:

  • Accommodates all sleep styles
  • Unique pillow-in-pillow design
  • Over 1,700 5-star ratings from Walmart customers

You’ve heard of Casper’s mattresses, but did you know they also make comfy pillows? The Original Bed Pillow has over 1,700 five-star ratings from Walmart shoppers, and for good reason. It was created to suit all types of sleepers, with a unique pillow-in-pillow design that’s soft on the outside, with an adaptive inner layer that ‘moves with you’ for extra support. Plus, a two-inch gusset helps protect your neck, while a 100 percent cotton outer layer encourages breathability and airflow for a comfortably cool night’s sleep.

One Walmart customer wrote, “Love my new pillows! No problem at all adjusting to them.” They went on to say, “As an occasional sufferer of migraine headaches, I’ve found these pillows to be soft and soothing to my tender aching head,” adding, “They’re well worth the price.”

Alwyn Home Plush Down Alternative Bed Pillow

Best affordable down alternative pillow
best down alternative pillows
Wayfair

Buy from Wayfair, starting at $54.99 for set of four (originally $149.99)

Why we like it:

  • Under $100 for 4 pillows
  • Available in standard, queen, and king sizes
  • Machine washable

If you’re looking to save some money but still want to experience the cushy feeling that the best down alternative pillows have to offer, you’re in luck. This pillow set by Alwyn Home comes with four plush down alternative pillows for under $100! Unlike most pillows, which only come in standard and king sizes, this set also offers a queen-size option, and its 100 percent hypoallergenic gel filling is super-soft, making it ideal for stomach sleepers. When it’s time to clean, simply toss it into the washing machine, as it’s designed to maintain its shape and softness even after multiple washes.

One stomach-sleeper called these pillows “just what I was looking for,” saying, “These are perfect.” They went on to describe them as “super soft without making me feel like I am suffocating in the pillow.” Another reviewer added, “I used to wake up with a headache every day, but with these pillows I wake up refreshed.”

Down Alternative Jetsetter Mini Travel Pillow

Best down alternative travel pillow
best down alternative pillows
Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Buy from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, $35.99

Why we like it:

  • Available in 3 colors
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Comfortable boomerang shape

With one of the busiest travel seasons of the year quickly approaching, a comfortable and portable pillow is a must. We love this mini down alternative travel pillow from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which is hypoallergenic, and comes in three fun colors, including aqua, royal blue, and fuschia. Its boomerang shape fits snugly around the neck to alleviate pressure and help prop your head up, and the 100 percent cotton sateen cover feels nice and soft. The removable cover is machine washable, and the satin trim helps gussy it up, making it a super cute on-the-go essential you’ll want to bring on all of your long trips.

One satisfied shopper wrote, “Nice and soft pillow that conforms nicely to your neck with just the right support.” They added, “I bought [it] to use while I drive longer distances for better neck support to fill in the big gap between me and the car headrest,” and said, “For the price, it is well worth it!

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